Q&A with Patrick Seitz at Virtual Crunchyroll Expo

With Virtual Crunchyroll Expo just around the corner on September 4-6, we had the opportunity to ask some questions to one of the event’s guest, Patrick Seitz! A sample of his past roles include: Endeavor from My Hero Academia, Franky from One Piece, and more. He is also the ADR Director for Aggretsuko and various anime titles. 

Thank you for your time! You’ve worked not only as a voice actor, but also as an ADR director and scriptwriter for many projects. With so much experience on all sides of the process, do you have any particular insights on localizing and dubbing that you’d like anime fans to know about?
I’ve banged on this drum plenty in the past, but for me, the point I always want to underline is that we are indeed localizing the content. It’s not just a straight translation. If someone wants that, they’re going to be pretty well served by the subtitles, which skew closer to the original Japanese. For my part as a script-adapter and director, I want to give an English-speaking audience the same experience as far as the emotions and story beats and jokes—but if different wording is going to get us there more adroitly than clinging to the translation, it’s the difference between 2+2 and 9-5 in my book; they’re different ways to get to the same end-state.

You have a very distinct and powerful voice that shines through many of your characters. Do you ever feel restricted by typecasting, or are there any kinds of roles you’d like more chances to portray?
For every time that I’ve felt typecast, there’s been another moment where I’ve been thankful to fall into such a viable niche. By and large, I think most voice actors can do more than what you’re generally used to hearing from them. But it can be a tough sell to hire someone for something well outside their wheelhouse when you can just cast a person who lives in that sound. It’s one of the reasons I cherish getting to voice Tygra on “ThunderCats Roar” so much. He’s nebbish and nerdy, which is a pretty far departure from my usual VO fare.

In order to work as an ADR director and script writer, how familiar do you need to be with the Japanese source material for a given project and what’s the creative process like?
Pretty familiar, ideally! I remember watching all 72 episodes of “Monster” over a two-week period back in the day before I started directing the dub because I could tell it was the sort of show where my knowing all the twists and turns ahead of time was imperative. When I started dubbing, the challenge was that we were getting materials for episodes piecemeal from Japan, because we didn’t have the pipeline in place to get stuff over here easily. Now, we’re dubbing shows so hot on the heels of the original Japanese release, we run into the same problem—lack of materials—not because we don’t have the pipeline in place, but because they literally don’t exist yet. It’s a very 2020 problem to have. For most of the shows I’ve worked on recently, I’ve luckily been in the position to adapt the scripts as well. It streamlines the process; as the VO director, I’m never left wondering what the script-adapter intended with the structure or wording of a certain cue. And there’s a lot of incentive for me to get the lines as tight as I can ahead of time because I’ll be the one paying the piper down the road if stuff doesn’t fit or sounds clunky.

Special thanks to Crunchyroll for the opportunity. You can catch Patrick Seitz at Virtual Crunchryoll Expo on September 4 at 12:30 PM on the Hime Stage. Registration is now open for the free online event

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